tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC August 8, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
money on candidates of color or republicans, particularly the republican nominee in michigan to run against debbie stabenow, an african-american man. speaking broadly, the party is overwhelmingly more diverse than the gop is and this fall it will only increase that. i will be very interesting to see how it shakes out. thank you for your time. that is all for this evening. rachel maddow show starts right now. >> good evening, chris, much appreciate it. thanks for joining us this hour. if you wanted to hold a pageant to decide the president's favorite member of congress, i don't think any of us knows who the final winner might be. might be whether the president insisted on a swimsuit contest or something scarier. without any argument at all, i think almost all of us who paid any attention to the news in this era, we could all name a
couple of the pageant finalists were this contest to happen. one would undoubtedly be the member of congress started off today being taken into custody at the offices of the fbi in lower manhattan. >> chris collins a republican congressman from new york, buffalo, he was the first member of congress to endorse donald trump's presidential campaign all the way back in february, 2016. we know that is the kind of thing that really matters to this president. congressman collins has since been among the most faithful loyalists in washington. now, he's been arrested in an alleged scheme that results in the arrest of his son as well as the father of his son's fiance. and the chris collins insider trading scandal that burst onto the scene with this indictment
touches several other serving republican members of congress and disgraced health secretary, tom price, the first trump cabinet secretary to resign in scandal. we have had our fair share of political scandals and public corruption indictments as a country. that is a history that includes today's date on the calendar in 1974, when president richard nixon resigned the presidency in the wake of the watergate scandal, this day, 1974. but even so, even with that rich history under our belts, it really is something when you wake up to the news of a sitting member of congress being indicted by federal prosecutors and the sight of a sitting member of congress being hauled before a federal judge for criminal arraignment. so, we will have more ahead tonight on trump ally republican congressman chris collins turning himself in and being indicted and arraigned on federal criminal charges today
including talking to the intrepid local reporter at the buffalo news, who first broke the story that turned into this scandal and who himself, the reporter, gets a cameo role in today's indictment of the congressman he first exposed. that is all. that's all coming up tonight. but, we have gotten an exclusive story we have to break ourselves tonight before we get to chris collins and the other stuff that happened today. our exclusive tonight concerns another republican in congress who would definitely make the finals in our hypothetical pageant to choose the members of congress, the president's favorite. california congressman devin nunes was important but was a low profile member of congress, low profile to the extent nobody really recognized him on sight. definitely nobody knew how to pronounce his last name. even though congressman nunes was a relatively anonymous
member of congress he had a big job, head of the intelligence committee, a big deal. since trump was elected. devin nunes, a trump supporter, senior member of the transition has turned the job into a full time crusade to try to derail the russian investigation by any means necessary and to defend trump in that investigation at almost any cost. congressman nunes has pressured the justice department and fbi into making unprecedented disclosures of law enforcement sensitive material and classified information actively being used in ongoing investigations, he got himself investigated by the ethics committee for himself involve an elaborate stunt from information he received from allies in the white house and then called a press conference to announce he was going back up to the trump white house to deliver to them the shocking classified
information that in fact they had just given him. the man has been acrobatic to the point of contortion in his efforts to make the russia investigation go away, and to turn the investigation of that attack into itself a bigger scandal than the attack in the first place. the president has been very appreciative of congressman nunes' efforts in this area. a great american hero. a true american patriot, devin nunes deserves everyone's support. vote for devin nunes. tonight, we have some news about devin nunes. one of the republican members of congress who had a tough time in a primary last night is a senior leader of the republican house leadership from washington state. congressman cathy mcmorris-rodgers. tonight, we have obtained an audiotape that was made at one of her final fund raisers before last night's difficult primary.
we obtained this from a progressive group called "fuse washington." someone from that group paid to attend this cathy mcmorris-rodgers fund-raiser and made this recording at this event. it was held on monday of last week. it was a closed press event. because of that, what happened has not been reported anywhere because reporters were not allowed in when this thing happened last week. tonight, we have obtained the tape of what happened at that fund-raiser. on that tape, you will hear congressman cathy mcmorris-rodgers a little bit. you will mostly hear the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee, congressman devin nunes, who was her guest at that fund-raiser trying to raise funds for her for her re-election battle. at this event, congressman nunes somewhat radically veers from the script where he's supposed to be raising money for cathy
mcmorris-rodgers and encourage her supporters to be enthusiastic about her candidacy, he veers from that script as you will hear and instead makes lengthy and controversial remarks about the trump white house and specifically about the russia investigation. these are not the kinds of things devin nunes usually says in public. this is an event closed press, held behind closed doors for these republican donors only. these remarks from devin nunes were never supposed to be public as far as he and cathy mcmorris-rodgers knew and presumably thought they would never become public. we have now obtained them. we believe they are newsworthy and revelatory in several instances. i will make them public right now. here goes. we go smaller to medium sized to big here. first thing to know about the way congressman devin nunes talks behind doors when he
thinks there will be no press coverage of what he says. for all of his very public expression of support for president trump, turns out when he's speaking behind closed doors, he's willing to say he's actually a little embarrassed by president trump, that the president's statements sometimes make him cringe. this is the first clip from devin nunes, in the context of congressman nunes criticizing the russian investigation and specifically talking about the recent news the president's statements on twitter might be cited as evidence in that investigation. listen. >> they know it's ridiculous to go after the president for obstruction of justice. but if they tell a lie often enough and they put it out there and they say, oh, we're looking at the tweets because you know you have a mixed bag on the tweets right? sometimes we love the president's tweets and sometimes we cringe on the president's tweets, but they're trying to make a political -- this is all
political from the "new york times" on tweets. >> sometimes we cringe on the president's tweets. substantively, who could possibly take issue with that, right? in real political terms, though, the president probably will take issue with that, especially given the way the president has used twitter specifically to hype up support for congressman devin nunes. nunes we now know tells donors behind closed doors the president's tweets make him cringe. more substantively the white house will also want to know while the congressman has been the single lead antagonist of the russia investigation in congress, while congressman nunes has done more than any other congressional republican to try to monkey wrench the robert mueller investigation in order to protect president trump and his campaign, turns out, even congressman nunes, behind
closed doors, is willing to concede if anyone in the united states had anything to do with the release of e-mails and documents stolen during the campaign, that unequivocally would be a criminal act. >> now, if somebody think that my campaign or cathy's campaign is colluding with the chinese or you name the country, hey, could happen, it would be a very bad thing if cathy was getting secrets from the portuguese, let's say, just because i'm portuguese, my family was, so cathy was getting secret information from the portuguese may or may not be unusual, built ultimately say the portuguese brought her some stolen e-mailed and decided to release that, if that's the case, that's criminal. >> that's criminal. just in case it's not clear here, the reference to the
portuguese here, you hear a chuckle here, not because congressman nunes is saying portugal did anything wrong, the congressman himself is of portugal descent and using a hypothetical of portugal reference and why we have that. can we re-rack and play the last part of that. let's say the portuguese came and brought her some stolen e-mails and she decided to release those, okay, now, we have a problem, right? because somebody stole the e-mails and gave them to cathy. cathy released them. if that's the case, that's criminal. >> if that's the case, that's criminal. again, substantively it is hard to believe anybody to have been involved in the dissemination of stolen e-mails as part of a political campaign. substantively we agree. with federal prosecutors now
claiming in a federal indictment wikileaks and d.c. leaks and guccifer 2.0 were the means by which stolen e-mails were disseminated during the presidential election and lots of still accruing evidence people associated with the trump campaign and the president's family and the president himself helped in that dissemination during the campaign, it cannot help that the lead opponent of the russia investigation privately concedes when he thinks nobody is recording him that sort of activity, if proven, that would definitely be criminal. now, we have a problem, right? because if somebody stole the e-mails, gave them to cathy, cathy released them, if that's the case, that's criminal. how does that line up with the trump campaign and what they did with wikileaks and the others. and now two stories will make a little bit of news here.
this next one includes audio cameo from the member of congress he was speaking at. cathy mcmorris rodgers is the number 4 republican in-house leadership from washington state. this fund-raiser we obtained this audio is from spokane, washington, held by her re-election campaign. it was last week, last monday. the primary for which she was getting devin nunes' help to raise money was held last night. you should know that went badly for cathy mcmorris rodgers. the top two-finishers will go to a runoff in november. when you're a long-time incumbent in the district and in the number 4 leadership of congress, you're not supposed to squeak into your primary runoff with a single percentage point lead over your democratic
challenger. given those result last night, republican cathy mcmorris rodgers looks like she's in real danger of losing her seat this fall. when constituents decide whether or not they will return her to washington they will also have this to chew on in addition to what they already know about their long time member of congress. here, for the first time ever, is congressman devin nunes. the tape you will hear is congressman nunes responding to a question from the audience at this fund-raiser, about the justice department official who oversees the robert mueller investigation, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. you might recall right before they left for summer recess a couple weeks ago, a few hard line/fringe pro trump republican members of congress actually introduced impeachment proceedings against rod rosenstein greeted with mostly
slack-jawed stares by most of the mainstream press and republican figures. republican leadership in the house led by house speaker paul ryan quickly made clear once those articles of impeachment were introduced, really, the impeachment of rod rosenstein was a fringe interest, not really a republican congressional priority, there may be fringe members pursuing it but not going anywhere. paul ryan basically immediately made clear after those articles of impeachment were introduced, the republican leadership is not on board with that kind of crazy stunt. now, we know that at a closed door private fund-raiser last week, congressman cathy mcmorris rodgers part of the top leadership of the house, you will hear her chiming in and appearing to agree with devin nunes, as nunes explains to a group of closed door republican donors, actually, there is a
live house republican plan to impeach rod rosenstein. they just don't want it to seem like they're pursuing it now. they're waiting for two important things to happen first and then their plan is to go ahead. here's that tape. you will mostly here congressman devin nunes here and an audience member asking the question starts this whole discussion. at one point in this middle of devin nunes' response you will hear a woman's voice interjecting that is the chairman of the house congress newly embattled congressman cathy mcmorris rodgers. >> but also on things that came up in the house on rosen stein impeachment thing, it appears from an outdosider that the republicans were not for it. >> it's a bit complicated, right? i say that because you have to we only have so many months
left, right. so if we actually vote to impeach, okay, what that does is that triggers the senate then has to take it up. well, and you have to decide what you want right now because the senate only has so much time. do you want it to drop everything and not confirm the supreme court justice, the new supreme court justice. that's part of why -- i don't think you have -- you're not getting -- from what i said publicly, rosenstein deserves to be impeached. i don't think you will get any argument from most of our colleagues. the question is the timing of it right before the election. >> the senate has to start -- >> the senate would to have start -- have to drop everything they're doing and start with impeachment on rosenstein, and then take the risk of not getting -- not getting kavanaugh confirmed. so it's not a matter that any of us like rosenstein, it's a matter of timing.
>> it's a matter of timing. this again is audio that was recorded at a closed door closed press private fund-raiser for cathy mcmorris rodgers next week, facing an unexpected difficult fight to hold onto her seat in congress and only won by 1% of the vote. can we have that transcript to put up for a second? there have been these public statements by the republican leadership in congress they're not pursuing this crazy idea of impeaching rod rosenstein. despite those public statements here's cathy mcmorris rodgers appearing to agree in fact they are going to pursue impeaching rod rosenstein once the election is over and once they have the new supreme court justice installed. impeaching rod rosenstein has nothing to do with rod rosenstein. what it is, is the only option, the one option the republican
congress has to really force the end of the mueller investigation. if they impeach and forcibly remove from office the man who oversees the mueller investigation, that is how they could arrange the installation of somebody else put in place in that same job who would shut the investigation down. it's really the only thing congressional republicans could do to stop the mueller investigation. it's their emergency brake, an extreme crazy option and been seen that way extreme if not crazy thus far in washington, at least in public statements by house republican leadership in washington. here's evidence from this audio that the house leadership is secretly on board with this plan. but for after the election. and they want to specifically sequence it so it happens once president trump's nominee is safely installed on the supreme
court. that may be just about wanting the supreme court nomination fight to take precedence over anything else or that they're expecting the impeachment of rod rosenstein to precipitate some type of constitutional crisis for which they want to make sure they have the new trump justice ensconced on the high court. last one. congressman devin nunes leads the intelligence committee, a big deal, big responsibility. cathy mcmorris rodgers helps lead the republican caucus in congress. at this private fund-raiser for congresswoman morris rodgers last week, congressman nunes spelled out in quite blunt terms how he sees his role in the russian investigation and how he sees the responsibility of all in congress as to the russian investigation and specifically why he sees it so important they keep the majority to keep control of congress in the elections this fall.
this is the last clip here, one more piece of tape from this fund-raiser. here we go. >> so therein lies, so it's like your classic catch-22 situation, where we were at a -- this puts us in such a tough spot. if sessions won't unrecuse, mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones, which is really the danger. that's why i keep -- thank you for saying that, by the way -- we have to keep all these, we have to keep the majority. we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away. >> we're the only one, that's the danger. put up the transcript of that again. thank you. if sessions won't unrecuse and mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones. if we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.
so behind closed doors when they don't think there's any recording of what they're saying, they've been told there's no press, they've disallowed the press from being there, it's a private republicans only closed fund-raiser, the case they're making is that they either need to stop the investigation of the president, they need to stop the russia investigation or keep using the power of congress to impede that investigation, or else, right? or quote all of this goes away. that's why they want to keep the majority. that's the stakes for them keeping the majority. they're using the majority to impede the investigation. if they lose the majority the investigation might go forward, and then quote all of this goes away. so, again, we obtained this audio from a progressive group called "fuse washington," someone from that group paid to attend this fund-raiser and made
this recording. we, of course, asked congressman devin nunes for comment. he has thus far not responded. we hope he will. we asked congresswoman cathy mcmorris-rodgers for comment. it was her fund-raiser after all. her office has not commented and we will let you know if we hear back. we will post all this audio and transcripts online tonight. stay with us tonight. more to come. let someone else do the heavy lifting. tripadvisor compares prices from over 200 booking sites to find the right hotel for you at the lowest price.
prosecutors bringing a case against president trump's former campaign manager says they will rest it today or tomorrow. they have been having long days and say they plan to get through eight more witnesses over the course of the next two days. if that's true that means none of the rest of the witnesses will be on the stand anywhere as near as long as the star witness thus far, the trump deputy campaign chairman, rick gates, who finally wrapped up three days of testimony today. i am nod a lawyer and admittedly
may not be getting this. here is something that happened with rick gates today towards the end of his testimony i don't understand. paul manafort's defense attorney asking rick gates about the old 31 count indictment against gates that got dropped once gates decided to flip and cooperate with the prosecution with the case against paul manafort. manafort's lawyer, question. that indictment has been dismissed. gates, it has. >> are there certain situations its can be brought again? >> it has. if i fail to them tell the truth today, they could indict me. >> an if you were indicted on that, how much time would you be facing? >> a significant amount. >> a hundred years by your account? gates, yes, 100 years. i imagine if i were on the jury that might make me think rick
gates would be super duper supercalifragilisticexpalidociou committed to telling the complete truth, right? we just spelled out that the price of him lying means he would go to jail for 100 years. it seems like the questioning you would pursue in front of the jury if you wanted them to believe everything rick gates said was true because the consequences of him lying are so terrible. this is the line of questioning we got from manafort's side. they're supposedly trying to make the jury think gates is unbelievably as possible, a liar who lies. i don't get it, they kept going with this today. manafort's attorney, as you sit here today, mr. gates, do you have any doubt in your mind if you lied that the special counsel's office would rip up your plea agreement?
gates, no question at all. >> why would you keep laying out how high the stakes are for gates if he goes to jail he would go for a century. the manafort's attorney has tried to make gates look as bad as possible up to making sure the jury hears he had multiple extramarital affairs including that gates has the incentive to definitely not lie in this case because that would be so terrible for him? how does that work that you say you can't believe this man and he is not lying now. don't get. a former prosecutor with the eastern district of virginia, he not only tried cases like this in this court, he tried cases before this specific judge. gene rossi has been ringside all week. >> good to see you.
am i being dense? is there something clear about that legal strategy? >> no. here's why. when a defendant pleads guilty and becomes cooperative. in the plea agreement they have maximum penalties and the number of counts and also say those counts will be consecutive. if the defense hadn't brought that out i am sure on redirect the prosecutors would have brought it out. in fact, i think in the case today the prosecutors did bring it out. >> the jury knows what's in the plea agreement, know he can't lie and would go to jail for 100 years. >> absolutely. as a matter of fact, most jury gets the plea agreement. i'm sure it's an exhibit. when i was a prosecutor a lot of years, i would put that plea agreement in and front in my direct exam i don't think the prosecutors did as much as the defense did, i would front, you are facing 100 years, you're facing five counts. what in your mind will happen if
you lie? the plea agreement will be ripped up and i could face 100 years. >> which tells the jury this guy is not going to lie. >> absolutely. >> it's weird for the defense to be pursuing that while simultaneously trying to undermine the credibility of rick gates. >> not really. if i am a defense attorney, i am now, i'm going to ask that witness, you're facing 100 years. you know the only way to get a reduction in sentence, a 5k or rule 35, those are the vehicles, you know the only way is to tell the prosecutors what they want to hear. to lie to them, to dupe them. that's the only strategy. >> they're suggesting that he lied to the prosecutors in order to get his deal? >> absolutely. >> boy, are they doing that backwards. >> this is what you have to do and it is done every -- every criminal trial i had the defense attorney would get up there and say, you're facing 100 years,
you're facing a mandatory minimum of 25 years. you will do anything to get a reduction in sentence, you will lie about anybody to get a reduction. that's really the best you can do. >> i've been reading all this through the transcripts and following all the reporting from this. sitting in the courtroom, especially with your experience in the eastern district of virginia, how do you feel -- what do you think about the strength of the case? this is tax fraud, bank fraud. we've seen, somewhat surprising approaches, at least from a layman's perspective from both sides. how do you as an observer, somebody experienced in this field in this courtroom think both sides are going. >> in my career, i had 30 tax trials, civil and criminal. here's my analysis. the case against paul manafort, if the government rested today, is very powerful. >> okay. >> in my opinion, there's a high likelihood paul manafort will be found guilty of 10 counts, five
for the tax returns. and all they have to show is under oath, which a tax return is, and two material false hoods, income not reported and the f bar, foreign bank account report. those are the 10 counts against paul manafort. there is absolutely no way that the jury is going to ignore the mound of documents that suggest and point towards mr. manafort failing to report $30 million in income over many years. >> and that evidence, as presented by the prosecution, at this point, is uncontroverted, the jury won't have any doubt? >> let me tell you this. i sat through monday, tuesday and wednesday. the defense attorneys are phenomenal attorneys. they're all from the tax division of doj, former. i worked with tom descendly, i
know jay, i worked for the tax division. they are doing a fabulous job. but trials are like poker. you are dealt cards and you have to do the best they can. they are doing the best they can, it's just the cards they have are horrible. he did file an f bar when he knew he had to, and he lied to people. i want to say this. every criminal tax trial has to have a theme. here's the theme of this trial. greed, lies and manipulation. you have this, no pun intended, card analogy in spades. it's unbelievable. i think it's a very strong case, i could be shocked if something happens in the next few days. but the government could rest today, they could have rested probably yesterday. >> and you think he'd still be
convicted zbloon convicted? >> absolutely, on those counts. >> there is another part of this i will ask you when we come back. >> i can't wait. rip. and at expedia, we don't think you should be rushed into booking one. that's why we created expedia's add-on advantage. now after booking your flight, you unlock discounts on select hotels right until the day you leave. ♪ add-on advantage. discounted hotel rates when you add on to your trip. only when you book with expedia. ♪now i'm gonna tell my momma ♪that i'm a traveller ♪i'm gonna follow the sun♪ ♪now i'm gonna tell my momma ♪that i'm a traveller transitions™ light under control™
and i am a senior public safety my namspecialist for pg&e. my job is to help educate our first responders on how to deal with natural gas and electric emergencies. everyday when we go to work we want everyone to work safely and come home safely. i live right here in auburn, i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. joining us once again is gene rossi, a former prosecutor in the eastern district of virginia. i know you have another connection to this case. you represent one of the five witnesses. >> right. >> who the government said could be called to testify against
manafort in exchange for immunity. your client is connor o'brien. as far as i understand it he worked with cindy laporta, one of the only five people on that list actually called thus far. the government said these were just potential witnesses, guess your client was prepared to testify because he was on the list. he had gone through the process of getting an immunity agreement. what does it say to you your client was not called to testify in the end. >> very simple. they didn't need him. my client had just a little bit, sliver of the overall scheme they had. they had phillip to testify, heather to testify, sidney laporta and rick gates actually helped, too. they did not need my client. he's a great kid and so happy he didn't have to testify. >> in the case of cindy laporta, she. >> had an immunity deal and not
in jeopardy what she testifies in court. >> if she tells the truth. >> helping paul manafort with his tax returns. she said she regretted it and got use immunity. we learned she never the less has been fired and lost her job. immunity deals usually involve copping to illegal activity. does your client and other clients on this list involved with that, too? >> i can't comment on that. >> i have one other question. judge ellis. >> that's what i thought you were going to start with. that's why i was smiling. >> you've tried cases before him. is he always like this? >> let me just tell you this. i appeared in front of judge ellis for 20 years. i had seven trials and hundreds of hearings. i lost count of the number of hearings. what you're seeing from judge ellis is what i saw the first time i appeared in front of him in 1997. he is what he is, and he's never
going to change. >> it seems like he's really ragging on the prosecutors. >> yes. >> not going after the defense. is that his mo as well or unusual and specific to this? >> it's not unusual because my seven trials, there were times he was ragging on me, it's part of the process. here's what i want to give advice to anybody who appears before judge ellis. do not take it personally. that is the way he rolls. he is a brilliant jurist. he likes to get involved in the case, in questioning and correcting. the thing i like about judge ellis, he is a perfectionist. he has made hundreds if not thousands of attorneys better, including me, because he is a perfectionist. >> is he always harder on the prosecution than defense? >> not always. >> in this case do you think he is notably harder on the prosecution? >> i think in this case, yes, but not -- i wouldn't say notably. last week, he was pretty tough
on the prosecutors. >> yes. >> yesterday and today, i have noticed that the prosecutor doing a great job, and the other two prosecutors, i know those two very well, he's getting a little warm with gray. it's because they now realize they have almost an understanding. you have to understand, judge ellis does this in every single case, no matter how big or how small. >> just that every single case doesn't get this kind of national attention for all the reasons this is. that's why we need your expertise. gene rossi, former prosecutor of the eastern district of virginia. thank you. >> thank you. >> much more to come. stay with us.
and early donald trump dev devo chris collins became indicted. our next guest is actually mentioned in the indictment unsealed as chris collins was taken into custody today. he's mentioned and not as one of the many unnamed co-conspirators in the indictment. -k eegoing. st. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance just for owning a home, but i'm not compromising. -you're taking a shower? -water pressure's crucial, scott! it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. -they don't say that. it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. whoooo. tripadvisor makes finding your perfect hotel... relaxing. just enter your destination and dates. tripadvisor searches over 200 booking sites
human services secretary tom price was booted out of office, before all that, tom price had a stock scandal that arguably was a bigger deal. he bought tens of thousands of dollars in stock and he bought that stock at a discounted rate. it was a big sticking point at his confirmation hearings. he testified he didn't get a special price on that stock. in fact, he did. he was one of fewer than 20 u.s. investors offered that sweet deal. he admitted that he first heard about that company from another colleague down the hall, congressman chris collins, a republican from upstate new york. also one of the largest shareholders in that australian pharmaceutical company and he sat on the board of directors of that company, which itself is unusual for a sitting member of
congress. after congressman collins tried to get his colleagues to invest in that company, house ethics investigators started looking into his ties to that company last year. today this long brewing scandal culminated with congressman chris collins getting arrested for lying to federal agents. that's him spot shadowed there at federal court in new york city today. today probably felt like the longest day of congressman chris kcollins life. but it also must felt like a long time coming for the reporter who is have been on this story from before the beginning. he is the reporter who first broke the story there was a house ethics investigation into congressman collins and his ties to the pharmaceutical company. buffalo news stays on the story even when the congressman repeatedly publically attacked
them, all up until this criminal indictment today. i imagine this has felt like a long time coming. thank you for being here today. >> thank you very much. >> how did this evolve from the first stories that buffalo news ran on this matter to where it ended up today? >> it was a long, long trail that we ended up following. it all started with the investigation into tom price and his stock trades and how they related to chris collins. but really the big break in the story i think is one that went largely unnotice eunnoticed. it was late in june last year when one wednesday night, there was this press release saying, hey, we've got this great news from the fda. we can do clinical trials in the u.s. a couple days later, there is a sudden hold on the stock trading. that seemed very, very suspicious. and then only a couple of days later, the following week, the following monday night, we find out why there was a hold.
the clinical trials of their much tauted drug to supposedly cure multiple sclerosis failed completely. >> that's an unusual dynamic to have this hyping press release saying things are going great right before things actually cratered. >> exactly. i did a story where i talked to people in australia and also people in buffalo. they both looked at this as what's called a pump and dump scheme where you taut the price of the stock and everything goes quiet for a while while the insiders sell. >> so the investors in the know will get the best possible price for their stock while they are selling it out while the rest of the dupes in the public are about to take a bath. >> the highly tauted optimistic press release, that's not in there. but the second part of this long
delay and the insiders dumping the stock, yes, that's in there. >> one of the other things that's in the indictment i think is a reference to you. there is part of what's alleged in the scheme is that congressman collins' office released a statement to a reporter, who i think is you. >> that is me. >> essentially saying that, hey, when my family sold off this stock as the stock cratered and dropped by 92% in value, you shouldn't see that as any -- essentially giving you a statement exonerating the family, making it seem like they got hit very hard just like members of the public did who might have held this stock. is this the way you feature in the indictment and what did you make of that statement when he got it from collins office? >> that's pretty much the way it was, is in terms of how it happened, i asked the questions about the family. and the family's investment, what happened with that, did they sell, et cetera. i got this very straightforward
statement which said there was nothing that was suspicious here, that everyone had taken a loss, et cetera. it clearly turned out not to be true. that statement turned out not to be true. of course, when i was reading the indictment this morning, i read that and said, oh, that sounds like a very familiar little press release, come to think of it. >> congressman collins has been reportedly overheard near the florida house bragging about how many millionaires he made in buffalo back home by talking people into investing into this company. he tried to attack the buffalo news, you and your paper for having pursued this story. he says he's going to run for re-election. >> that's a very, very interesting question. the thing he really has going for him is that he is representing one of the most republican districts, probably the most republican district in the united states. there is a percentage of people in his district who will believe him and think this is an attempt by the press and the evil fbi to
go after republicans again and they will vote on partisan lines. discerning voters may think about this a little bit more. but it's really going to be a struggle, i think, for any democrat to win in that district just because of the partisan lean of the district. >> this is one of those speaking indictments written for a public audience. it is pretty powerful case. i know it has not been fun to be the target for pursuing this story, back home especially. but congratulations on being out ahead of this. boy, is this turning into a big deal. congratulations. >> thank you. >> subscribe to your local paper. we'll be right back.
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